Jeffrey C. Billman, a writer for Orlando Weekly since 1999, has been named "one of Orlando's best journalists" by Orlando Magazine and "definitely somebody we've heard of someplace" by Connections. He inherited the city-government beat in 2001, thanks to his convention-defying insistence on wearing a name tag and pants to council meetings. He received his B.A. in journalism from the University of Central Florida, and his comeuppance from our copy editors three months later.
James Carlson began working as a full-time news reporter in September 2005, and will qualify for emotional-health benefits sometime next spring. Before taking up journalism, Carlson toured the continent performing a one-man show about the life and times of former Sen. Paula Hawkins. Writing under the name "Calvin Trillin," he has had his work published in Time, The New Yorker and The Nation.
Jason Ferguson is the son of NASCAR great Otis "Lefty" Ferguson, and got his job purely through nepotism. A series of columns he wrote on the scandalous absence of klezmer programming from the nation's podcasts failed to stimulate much reader response, but was praised in private by Kathie Lee Gifford. He is currently on leave of absence in Orlando Weekly's break room, where he is researching a book on the dieting and mating habits of our sales executives.
Paula Ferguson attended a night school for amateur detectives before assuming stewardship of Orlando Weekly's Police Beat column. Her list of prior convictions includes sentences for counterfeiting and nursing-home negligence. Married to Jason Ferguson since 1967, she has seven children, 17 grandchildren and a Jack Russell terrier named Dr. Kevorkian.
Ian Grey possesses a Ph.D. in gun repair from the New School for Social Research. In 2002, he won the National Rifle Association's Truth in Journalism Award for a tell-all interview he conducted with the Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun.
Al Krulick joined Orlando Weekly in 1977 as a drama critic and was promoted to the national-affairs desk at the Auto Trader shortly thereafter. He holds an M.A. in political science from Georgetown University and a brown belt in Jeet Kune Do from a martial-arts school that has since closed.
Billy Manes has a B.S. in abnormal psychology from Brandeis University and a learner's permit in mixology from the American Bartending Academy. A 2001 piece he wrote on sexual abuse at downtown homeless shelters won the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies' Golden Porcupine Award and came this close to being optioned as a sitcom. He lives in Deltona with his wife, Olivia, and their extensive collection of Precious Moments figurines. He is currently reading a book.
Micky Michalec has been Orlando Weekly's full-time claymation critic since 1998, and will remain so until somebody in corporate gets wise. He is on the faculty at Winter Park Tech, where he teaches a course in the history and significance of Whitman Samplers.
Ian Monroe began covering Internet privacy issues for this paper in 1979. In 1980, he left to take an extended sabbatical in the woods of Wisconsin, waiting for the world of technology to properly catch up with him. He spent the intervening years penning a new foreword to The Anarchist Cookbook. A triumphal return to these offices in 2001 found his beard longer and his gaze wilder but little else changed. He now writes about bluegrass music.
Whatever he did, Rob O'Connor is very, very sorry. Please stop crying.
Chris Parker became a contributor to our music pages in 1984, shortly after the invention of digital music sampling ended his career as a street-corner washboardist. He lives with his dog, Maisey, in Lake City, where such unions are recognized and protected by law.
Al Pergande, a fixture on our Theater and Foreign Finance pages, is the product of a successful exchange program that Howard University maintains with Florida's surviving "cracker" communities. The experience forms the basis of his forthcoming autobiographical novel, Wack Like Me.
Steve Schneider was a policy aide in the Nixon White House, where he was charged with tracking youth trends, emerging technologies and whatever the Jews might be up to. Since he joined Orlando Weekly in 1996, he has been nominated for several prestigious spell-checking awards and has won numerous games of Skee-Ball at major county fairs.
Lindy T. Shepherd received the Society of Professional Journalists' "Whistleblowers to Watch" award in 2004 for an article she authored about the correlation between spontaneous combustion and witchcraft. Other topics she covers regularly for the paper include the Downtown Arts District and the hunt for the Abominable Snowman. In her spare time, she seethes with resentment.
Issac Stolzenbach was born away in a manger, no crib for a bed, with only the gentle lowing of a calf to signal the mighty bounty the world of journalism was about to receive. His world-class writing style has lent itself spectacularly to the human-interest beat, while his superior penmanship has made him a popular figure on our letters page. He is currently working on a well-received series of articles about taxation.
Bob Whitby has been the editor of Orlando Weekly since 2002. In that time, his voluminous creative output has been honored with eight Pulitzers, four Polks, two Emmys, three Tonys and the Nobel Peace Prize. (Documentation available upon request; send SASE and $17.95.)
Jessica Bryce Young came to this newspaper bearing an extensive education in the performance arts and the critical disciplines. A graduate of the University of Illinois, she majored in rhetoric and minored in comparative literature. Work in the exciting fields of cultural marketing and artist relations has taken her to such teeming metropoli as Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago. While honing her skills as a first-rate analyst and advocate of the lively arts, she has also managed to author her first novel. For the life of us, we can't think of anything for her to firstname.lastname@example.org